Rick Bragg’s All Over but the Shoutin’ is an outstanding personal memoir of growing up in the South, poor, with an abusive father, all the way to winning a Pulitzer for the NYTimes. Bragg is a great storyteller whose experiences shine with that hard-to-describe Southern quality. It’s inspiring like all such stories are inspiring – how can someone overcome such terrible odds at childhood to rise to the top of one’s profession later in life? As a journalism buff, I also enjoyed Bragg’s stories of his reporting.
The one irony in reading this now is that since this book was published Bragg resigned from the NYTimes during the Jayson Blair hoopla after admitting to not duly sharing a complete byline. Reading his memoir in light of this and all the the fuss about James Frey made it an interesting experience.
If you’re from the South, interested in poverty, like journalism, or like good stories, check out All Over but the Shoutin‘.